After Putting Lauten on Page 1, WashPost Buries Democrat Sex-Assault Plea: 281 Words on Page A-5

Insult the Obama daughters, and you are a nationally infamous political figure. Rape some women? Well, if you’re a Democrat, that’s a yawner of a story by comparison.

Call it a tale of two Hill staffers. While The Washington Post put Republican aide Elizabeth Lauten’s resignation over Facebook comments on page 1 on Tuesday with an 1,161-word report, a Wednesday story on a former Democratic congressional aide pleading guilty to sexual assault ended up on the far-right edge of page A-5 and was just 281 words long. 

This inspired conservatives on Twitter to link to the report and ask "Where's the wailing and gnashing of teeth over rape culture?”

Keith Alexander reported:

A former Democratic congressional aide pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting two women in 2010.

Donny Ray Williams Jr., 37, who served as a staff director for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, two misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and one count of misdemeanor threats.

Prosecutors say that on July 22, 2010, Williams invited a female congressional colleague to his Capitol Hill apartment and promised to introduce her to Senate employees. At the house, prosecutors said, Williams spiked a drink with Ambien. The woman, according to court documents, fell into a “deep sleep,” at which point Williams raped her.

A month later, prosecutors said, Williams invited another woman to his home and gave her alcoholic beverages. They said he had sexual contact with her when she was too intoxicated to give her consent.

Williams had been indicted on 10 counts, but prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they would seek a suspended prison term and five years of supervised probation. Williams also would have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Even with this tiny story, The Washington Post is the news leader. Other national newspapers don't have it yet, and the Associated Press put out an even tinier story citing the Post.

In their front page story on Lauten on Tuesday, Washington Post reporters David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe strangely claimed “self-inflicted political wounds on social media have shown no partisan tilt in recent years,” and then compared Lauten with disgraced genital-tweeting ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner. That’s a really low blow, comparing a lecturer of teenage girls with a degenerate sending his genital photos to teenage girls.

This was also ridiculous because the networks all worked to save Weiner’s career when the story first broke. On NBC, Meredith Vieira insisted he remained a “rising star” on the scene, and Chuck Todd said Mrs. Weiner was tougher than the liberal media: “We all know he's probably answering tougher questions at home than he is in the dozen interviews he did yesterday.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis